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SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

 
Background Information

Destination Highlights

The Serengeti takes its name from the Maasai word siringet, which means “endless plains.” The plains certainly are that, and the park itself is endless, covering 5,700 square miles (14,763 sq km) of dry rolling grassland, acacia speckled savanna, and dense riverine woodland.
With 14,700 square kilometers, this is Tanzania’s largest park, a symbol of African wildlife and primeval beauty; it contains a million and a half plains’ game, the greatest and most spectacular concentration of animals anywhere in the world. It is not unusual to see 40 or more lions in a day’s game viewing. The bulk of the area consists of vast open plains with lofty rocky outcrops. Also found are acacia and savannah woodland and scrub; forested and mature treed rivers; an occasional swamp and small lake. The park ranges in altitude from 910 meters up to 1,820 meters. Unrivalled photographic opportunities exist when the great animal migration is on. There is a wealth of bird life in the area where the larger species of birds of prey, game birds and water fowl are well represented. Here also a unique historical find revealed a settlement site of people dating from 1000 to 100 B.C.

Serengeti National Park is one of the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, and symbolises the classic African safari. With more than 2 million wildebeest, half a million Thomson’s gazelle, and a quarter of a million zebra, it has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa. The Serengeti is also synonymous with the annual wildebeest and zebra migration.

 
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What to see and do

A population of about 25,000 large animals, including the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, lives in the crater. These include black rhinoceros, hippopotamus which are usually very uncommon in the area. There are also wildebeest, zebra, eland, Grants and Thomson’s gazelles.The crater has the densest known population of lion. On the crater rim are leopard, elephant, mountain reedbuck and buffalo. Lake Magadi, filled by the Munge river in the centre of the crater is, like many in the rift valley, a soda lake supporting flocks of flamingo and a variety of other water birds;. More than a 100 species of bird not found in the Serengeti have been found in the crater including; ostriches, kori bustards, secretary birds, and crowned cranes as well as vultures, egrets, herons and geese.The rainy season lasts from November through to May, with the dry season running from June through to October. June and July are the coldest months of the year. The rim of the crater is often shrouded in dense cloud that pours over the crater into the vastness below.